By Dennis R. Bauer, EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Ideal Credit Union
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. As a proud member of FHLB Des Moines, Ideal Credit Union congratulates the System, and we celebrate our partnership with the FHLBanks for playing a pivotal role in the way we have served the families and businesses in our communities for over 96 years.
As a member-owned financial institution, our mission is to deliver financial solutions that help our members live their Ideal Life. Our partnership with the FHLBanks empowers us to meet the funding needs of our community by providing access to liquidity. If this access was not available, it could potentially hinder our ability to make loans, and we would have to scale back on many services that allow our credit union to give back that make a real difference in the community. Let me share a few examples...
During the pandemic, Ideal Credit Union turned to FHLB Des Moines to assist us when our members sought to delay their loan payments. So much was unknown as many businesses shut down and Ideal’s members were concerned about losing their jobs in addition to being concerned that their income could be being negatively impacted. Ideal gave members the opportunity to defer payments and save money so they could have a cushion for their families and some peace of mind. We were proud to empower our members with payment options that met their financial needs at the time.
Our partnership with the FHLBanks has also inspired Ideal Credit Union to be creative in how we develop and provide products to first-time home buyers. Research indicates that the high cost of a down payment can be a key barrier to home ownership for many people. Enter the FHLB Des Moines Home$tart Program, a down payment assistance program that allows us to provide members with the funds upfront so they can become successful homeowners. We’re especially proud to utilize the Home$tart Program for our Community Heroes Mortgage Program, a program that gives us the opportunity to say “thank you” to those that have dedicated themselves to the wellbeing of others, including fire fighters, teachers and nurses. This program, which provides a special 1% down payment benefit, would not be available if not for FHLB Des Moines.
With access to the FHLBanks’ safe and reliable liquidity, Ideal Credit Union has been able to expand our mortgage lending while also offering volunteer and educational programs that benefit the broader community. On the volunteer side, our employees have created programs that support veterans, students, the homeless and the hungry, among others. In the area of education and financial literacy, we offer webinars on topics that range from Buying Your First Home, Selling Your House, Investments and Retirement Planning, Running Your Business, to Investing as a Woman and Cybersecurity Awareness. It’s been very rewarding for all of us at Ideal Credit Union to participate in and provide these programs to our members and to the markets in which we serve.
It is interesting that while the benefits of our partnership with the FHLBanks impact so many in our community, not everyone has heard of FHLB Des Moines or the FHLBanks. The Banks are a critical element of the nation’s financial infrastructure and their unique business model has ensured they are here for us and Minnesota communities in all economic cycles – in both critical and stable times. That is the purpose of the System. Without the FHLBanks, Ideal Credit Union – and more importantly, the communities we serve – would not be as vibrant or prosperous as we are today.
This article is provided through MnCUN's Strategic Alliance with FHLB Des Moines. For more information, visit the Solutions Directory.
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